That’s right, you can give yourself a raise this month. But before you get too excited, the best way to do it is by spending less. Sorry, if that feels like a bait and switch, but it shouldn't!
Trimming the fat in your budget and creatively thinking about your spending will put more money in your pocket at the end of the month, and it translates to more money every month if you can stick with it. The peace of mind of having a little bit of padding in your budget is exciting!
Of course, some areas of the budget have a little more give than others, so here are two suggestions to get you started:
TV: If you still have cable or satellite, do you really need it? If you don’t watch a lot of sports or network-specific series, switching to Netflix or Hulu could save you a pretty penny. And if you already pay for an Amazon Prime membership, you’ve got Amazon Video without a monthly bill attached to it.
Food: Food, glorious food! Oh how it derails my budget! (Did you sing that?) Groceries are the most variable expense in my house. It’s easily the biggest expense for most people, aside from housing. The good news is that it’s easy to pare down. Here are three ways:
1. Coupons and sales are still a great way to save dough. Shop the first page of the weekly ads in stores. Those are their ‘loss’ items (designed to get people in the store with a great bargain, so they can shop the other not-so-great items).
2. Work with that you have. Instead of going out every two days to get a necessity for the new recipe that the Pinterest gods command you to try, use what’s in your pantry. Sites like www.supercook.com make it easy to search recipes by the ingredients you have on hand.
3. Drink coffee at home. Take the fixings to make tea or coffee at your desk. If you save yourself $5 a day on coffee or tea, that’s an extra $140 in your pocket every month (assuming a 5-day work week).
What are some other places in your budget where you could really cut back? Do you have a budget? IF not, there’s never a better time to start than now. How big of a raise are you gonna give yourself this month?